For the second time in 2½ years, members of the Wild have been diagnosed with the mumps.
With the Wild coming off its bye week and beginning a stretch of 23 games in 41 days, forwards Zach Parise and Jason Pominville missed Monday’s 5-4 overtime victory over Los Angeles.
Also, assistant coach Scott Stevens, who didn’t coach Monday and missed Sunday’s practice, also has the mumps, as does a member of the team services staff, sources say. Darby Hendrickson took Stevens’ spot on the bench Monday.
“Hopefully we get through these next couple of days and no one else comes down with any symptoms,” said center Eric Staal.
Staal joked after the game that with the amount of gloves in teammate’s faces during Mikael Granlund’s game-winning goal celebration, “if someone had it in that pile, then we all got it.”
Members of the organization who have symptoms are being tested immediately and placed in isolation for five days, the team said. Doctors recently provided players and staff a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination and the organization will continue to work closely with the NHL, NHLPA and the Minnesota Department of Health.
Mumps is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a fever, headache, body aches, fatigue and swollen salivary glands and commonly occurs in places where people have had prolonged, close contact with a person who has mumps, such as playing on the same sports team, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
In 2014, several Wild players were stricken, including defensemen Ryan Suter, Marco Scandella, Jonas Brodin, Christian Folin and Keith Ballard. Brodin missed three weeks and Suter missed a game, so effects vary.
“It’s a lot for one team,” said Granlund, whose brother, Markus, is one of seven Vancouver Canucks players diagnosed with or showing symptoms of the mumps.
At the time in 2014, Parise jokingly said, of the illness that seemed to only affect defensemen, “What is this, the Oregon Trail? Every team seems to get the flu once a year, but the mumps?”
All Wild players, coaches and staff were offered vaccine shots in 2014 and equipment trainers sanitized all equipment and provided players with individual water bottles. Parise and Pominville were among those who got shots, General Manager Chuck Fletcher said.
The mumps component of the MMR vaccine is about 88 percent effective (with a range of 66-95 percent) when a person gets two doses; one dose is about 78 percent effective (with a range of 49-92 percent), according to the CDC.
Trainers constantly sanitize equipment, but it was noticeable that Suter’s entire set of gear was being sanitized Monday morning in the team’s Sani Sport machine.
The league sent memos to all clubs and medical directors Friday with procedural outlines.
Symptoms usually appear 16-18 days after infection, and people are mostly contagious three days before the onset of symptoms and up to nine days after. The Wild practiced in Vancouver on Feb. 3 and played there Feb. 4.
The virus is spread by mucus and saliva, usually when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches contaminated surfaces.